Film Courage: Do you think a lot of people who come here [to Hollywood] realize maybe how empty some of it is? If you get the acclaim of many people and you have the possessions [you will be happy]? That a lot of times it’s in the beauty of doing the work, it’s not in what “they say.”
Katherine Brooks: I think everyone has their own personal journey. I do believe that from working with all the celebrities I’ve found that people that are the most famous, are the most lonely. And I think we all go through a personal journey about trying to understand what’s really important to us and what we want for our lives. And for some people that might be fame and fortune and that’s fine.
But I don’t think that is what fulfills the soul. That the art and the love and the compassion and the empathy, I think those are the things that fill that artistic craving more than accolades or money and fame.
Film Courage: I am wondering why that would be for someone who has so many people who wants access to them and want to be in the same room with them and feel totally alone [in a huge crowd of adoring people]? How does this happen?
Katherine Brooks: I think what happens is that you have so many people when you are a public figure that think that they know you, especially if you’re really open in the press, open about your life. So these people that want to meet you think that you’re their friend or…And the truth is that you’re working so much. So if you’re working 13 to 15 hours a day. You don’t really have much time for a life outside of your work. And then you have all of these people who want a piece of you or who think they know you.
And that can even drive you into isolation even more because you’re not understanding sometimes ‘Why do they feel like they know me?’ Or ‘Why do they want to be so close to me?’ So, it’s scary sometimes.
Then other times, it’s such a beautiful thing to have people feel like they know you and be around you. It’s kind of a double-edge sword in a way. I appreciate both sides of it because I have such supportive fans. I love them. But at the same time, when I was at my darkest moment, when I was about to make FACE TO FACE, no one was there with me, I was completely alone. So…it’s two sides of the coin really.
Film Courage: I remember seeing Lionel Ritchie in public one time [Editor’s note: waiting for his car at a valet] and then I went up to him and said “Love your work.” And kept it at that and moved on. Is there a right way to approach someone in the public eye or do you kind of gauge it and see is it appropriate for me to even go up to this person?
Katherine Brooks: I think going up to public figures, there’s a couple of things 1) It depends on what setting they are in. I think when people are having dinner or they are having a personal conversation and just going up and like interrupting them and being like ‘Oh my Gosh, love you! Can I have your autograph?” I think that you have to be respectful and sometimes there’s just that right moment where you see someone where you really respect their body of work and it just seems like the right time. I think you should always be yourself. I think if you’re going to gush over them, gush over them, don’t try to act like you’re not or just like say your peace and say how much you respect them and love them and move on from there, you know?
Filmmaker Katherine Brooks tells us about the promise she made to always be herself on camera, that she doesn’t understand why it’s taboo for people to talk about depression, about her journey to get better, and the impact that her film Face 2 Face is having on it’s audience.
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